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The Race To One Million Gamerscore

Microsoft recently announced Xbox Live discounts for players who have achieved gamerscores of 3,000, 10,000, and 25,000. It's great to see Microsoft rewarding players for their in-game accomplishments, but the tiers are laughably low, especially when you take into account that two Xbox Live users currently have scores over 750,000, and are racing to reach 1,000,000.

Raymond Cox, who games under the Xbox Live handle Stallion83, is the current leader with a gamerscore of 769,520. He's being chased by Stephen Rowe, who goes by Smrnov on Xbox Live and currently sits at 757,774.

Just how dedicated are these guys? "I recently played Inversion. It has this multilayer achievement called “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now,” where you gotta do all of the multiplayer [challenges] – kind of like Gears of War, where you have to get all of the rewards and medals," Cox says. "That achievement took like 560 hours. I still don’t know why I did it. I just wanted to get that one done for some reason."

"For me, it’s about finishing games," Rowe says. "1,000,000 isn’t the endgame. As long as I am having fun doing it, and like the way I’m doing, I’m going to keep at it."

One of Rowe's preferred methods to raising his gamerscore comes in the form of tournaments. "There are a couple of [scoring tournaments]. Some people run them through trueachievements.com. A lot of these guys run them for the sake of friendly competition, and things like that. Prizes are all out of pocket for them. They aren’t usually sponsored events. There was one last year that ran the full length of the year. They ended up having over 50 teams in it, and weekly elimination for the lowest scoring team. I actually ended up winning that one. You basically have to score every week. As it gets toward the end, and there are fewer teams, the competition ramps up in terms of how many points you have to get because everyone is fighting for the prize positions at that point."

Both Rowe and Cox hope to end the year at around 800,000 gamescore. The competition between the two will obviously intensify as they inch closer to 1,000,000.

"I think I’m going to be the first person to 1,000,000. I really do," says Cox. "A lot of people think what I’m doing is easy to do. There’s a reason not many people are where I’m at. Smrnov is the closest one. He’s the only competition. Everybody else is way too far behind to even catch up."

Check out Game Informer's November issue (#235) for full interviews with Cox and Rowe. You can also follow their progress on Cox and Rowe's blogs.

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